A STEM Challenge that invites students in grades 6-12 to join the effort to tackle nitrogen pollution.
About the Challenge
As part of the Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan (LINAP), the Long Island Water Quality Challenge promotes project-based learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in Long Island schools and helps students develop a greater understanding of how their classroom curriculum can be applied to protecting Long Island’s crucial water resources – with a specific focus on reducing or eliminating nitrogen pollution. This competition also connects students, teachers and their communities to the overall LINAP initiative.
The Long Island Water Quality Challenge is a great opportunity for schools to play a role in protecting local water resources while improving school grounds. On Long Island you are never far from surface waters (and groundwater); that holds true for most schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Stormwater runoff on school property can transport nitrogen pollution (along with other contaminants) through the watershed and into our coastal waterways. Excess nitrogen in surface waters can cause eutrophication (excess algae growth or “bloom”). Toxic algal blooms lead to low oxygen conditions, fish kills, and degraded wetlands and marine habitats. Excess nitrogen in groundwater can result in drinking water high in nitrate (a form of nitrogen) which poses a threat to human health.
To participate in this challenge, student teams will choose from one of two Water Quality Challenge categories that is feasible and meaningful to them and their community. Next, teams will notify the LIRPC of their intention to participate in the challenge by submitting a Request for Expression of Interest (details below) by November 10, 2022. Final Project Proposals are due on January 27, 2023 and winners will be chosen and notified in March 2023.
The two STEM Challenge project categories to choose from are:
(1) Low Input Landscaping
(2) Stormwater Treatment
November 10, 2022: Letters of Interest due
January 27, 2023: Final project proposals submitted
March 2023: Awardees announced
April 2023: Awards presented
The STEM competition is open to any NYS accredited educational institution on Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) that serves students in grades 6-12.
Request for Expressions of Interest
For details about submission requirements and how to submit a letter of interest see REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To view frequently asked questions see FAQ
Format for the Project Proposals
Teams may use this recommended format for their STEM Challenge project proposals: PROJECT FORMAT
To view a copy of the rubric that will be used to score all submitted proposals see: SCORING RUBRIC
Schools and their teams are encouraged to explore the following websites and resources for information on stormwater treatment and low input landscaping.